Ryan Fitzpatrick not rated highly by former Bills coach Pete Metzelaars

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Former Buffalo Bills tight ends coach Pete Metzelaars provides his harsh perpective of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

As we turn the page on another NFL season, plenty of teams are restructuring and making drastic decisions from the front office. One of those teams expected to undergo significant changeover this offseason is the Buffalo Bills.

Not long after the season, they parted ways with head coach Chan Gailey and replaced him with Syracuse's Doug Marrone. And now, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick -- who signed a six-year, $59 million contract in 2011 -- is expected to compete for the starting job.

However, former tight ends coach Pete Metzelaars thought the Bills might be better off without him altogether.

If you have a dominating defense, you can get by with an average to below-average quarterback. If you don't have a dominating defense, you need a winning quarterback in the NFL.

Fitz is an average to below-average kind of guy, and unfortunately he made some bad decisions at the end of games and then didn't make plays at the ends of other games we had chances to win. So it's got to start there.

Even though Metzelaars may be right in his assessment of Fitzpatrick, it is rarely in good taste to slam your former team publicly.

Metzelaars, who worked on the offensive side of the ball, does not believe that Fitzpatrick has the elite tools to lead this team to the degree the organization has expected. Unfortunately, this draft is not littered with prospects at the position. And free agency is slim as well.

Fitzpatrick may battle it out with Tarvaris Jackson and a mid-to-late round pick. There is even a chance that Marrone brings in his former QB, prospect Ryan Nassib, to Buffalo to compete for the starting job. An open competition will be the best thing for a team in search of a franchise quarterback.

But if it were up to Metzelaars, he would eliminate Fitzpatrick from the equation.

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